** Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. ** John 13:1
John 13 is a beautiful chapter in the Bible. It speaks of love, submission, courage, service and betrayal. Today, we will focus on love.
Verse 1 tells us that Jesus loved those who followed Him. And that ** He loved them unto the end. **
On the cross Jesus prays to the Father **Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. ** Luke 23:34
Jesus was sent to the lost sheep of Israel. He was sent to preach the kingdom of God and to show them how to live the Word of God out from day-to-day. He showed them how to love the Lord His God with all of His heart, soul, mind and strength. He showed them how to live for God first. He showed them how to stay on task no matter what the world or those that rejected Him said or did. He showed them how to serve and humbly give all that He could give of Himself for the benefit of others. No matter how they responded. He showed them to live by the heart of the law and not the letter of the law.
He taught them and us how to be human.
When those that He was sent to rejected and crucified Him, His last thoughts were to protect them from the Father’s wrath and ask Him to forgive those that harmed and betrayed and forsook Him.
** He loved them unto the end.**
** Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands…** John 13:3
** He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girdeth himself. ** v4
** After that he poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. ** v5
Jesus’ ministry was not one of a high salary, or a fancy home or filling a building with thousands and establishing His Name for all to applaud…it was one of humility and service. In every encounter, He looked for how He could leave the other person better. He raised their dead, healed their sick, taught His Word, and rebuked false leaders of God.
Every moment was a teaching moment. Every act an example of love.
** If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. ** v14,15
He was love in action. He was love personified.
And He was happy.
** If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. ** v17
Knowing the words, memorizing the verses did not make Him happy. Living His Word made Him happy. So, he teaches us the same thing. Knowing the Scripture is not enough. ** Knowledge puffeth up **, which is the opposite of humility, a major character trait of Christ.
But doing the Word of God, being like the Author of it, He tells us, makes us happy. Serving and loving others makes us happy.
** A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. ** v 34&35
Jesus was and is the Creator of the Universe. He is the Most High God. He is the Alpha and Omega.
But He chose and still chooses to serve those He created. He loves them (and us) with an everlasting love. Not a today or momentary or circumstantial love. But a forever love. A no matter what someone does love. No matter how many times we fail, or others fail us, love. No matter how many times we betray Him.
Now, He tells us to love with this same love.
His sacrificial love. Love that gets hurt, yet, loves again, kind of love.
Love that prays to the Father and says, ** Father, forgive them for they know not what they do**, love.
Love that is about them and not about us. Love that is humble and serves others. Love that knows who we are and where we are going. Love that knows that this world is not our home. Love that sees the needs of others above our own needs. Love that stays on task, no matter what the circumstances are. Love that is kind, merciful, patient and forgiving.
Love that loves others…unto the end.